On Shame and Moving Forward

I grew up in a middle-class neighborhood in Chapel Hill that is separated from Section Eight housing by one major road, its name recently changed from Airport Road to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. If Chapel Hill were its own state, it wouldn’t swing like North Carolina. Not only are there Obama stickers everywhere, but … Continue reading On Shame and Moving Forward

Look and See

I hiccupped into the phone as hot tears spilled down my cheeks. My face burned and my voice caught in my throat as I tried to explain to my mom what I had just found out—the superintendent of the residential college I was living in as part of my summer job was refusing to let … Continue reading Look and See

Skin Like Soil

You first learn that you are Black in a kindergarten classroom. Your friend Shawn opens his eyes and sees you. From head to toe. he asks “Why are you covered in dirt?” You spend all recess in the bathroom cleaning your skin—you, palms full of soap, the endlessly cold water, and a group of boys … Continue reading Skin Like Soil


Andalucía has fewer words than I do. One of my professors here tells me English has three or four ways of saying anything in Castilian, Spain’s most-spoken Spanish, the one we speak here, in Granada. Some say the ratio’s more like 2-to-1. The comparison gets harder when you think about all the country’s unofficial tongues—Basque, … Continue reading Sacar

The Anthropology of One

The woman I’m interviewing reaches across the yellowed plastic table and takes my chapped hands between her own. I’ll call her Lucía. She is middle-aged, with creases around her eyes but girlish dimples on her cheeks. We are sitting in a dimly lit café on the edge of the sprawling slum, or villa, where she … Continue reading The Anthropology of One


A layered look a the human body

On Roadside Shrines and Being Far From Home

A globetrotting Yalie reflects on tragedy at home


A Yale alumnus reflects on a trauma that struck us all.

No Mirrors in My Nana’s House

A dancer reflects.

Step by Step

Folk dancing spins connections.